Listen to Lil Bibby’s music – be it solo or alongside his often partner-in-rhyme Lil Herb – and the pride of Chicago rings defiantly in his music.
Oftentimes unfiltered and vitriolic, it mirrors the path that saw him graduate from street corners to recording studios and eventually the cover of XXL. Free Crack II represents the next step in Bibby’s journey as an artist and as a young man with features from heavy hitters Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, T.I., Kevin Gates and, of course, Lil Herb. Expect drug references. Expect mentions of pistol play. Expect graphic narratives easily mimicking lost scenes from your favorite hood movie or even eye-witness reports that slip past the evening news for one reason or another.
Yet, also expect to hear seeds of appreciation sprouting. The kind, where even if he doesn’t say it specifically, Bibby’s blessed and honored to be in the situation he’s in now. Tupac once said, “Life in the hood is all good for nobody.” The ‘hood’ isn’t totally a little shop of horrors where hope and dreams go to rot. Stand-up people and ambitious little boys and girls reside its public housing.
In some cases, it’s the only home they’ve ever known or will know. Those invested in its darker trappings, however, enter a game whose shelf life traditionally views 25 as “old.” Fast money comes faster, but the looming threat of prison hovers over shoulders like an annoying gnat or Kazoo from The Flintstones. And death? Death resides on every corner.
Bibby’s a statistic, albeit a positive one thus far. He made it out or is, at least, on the path that will take him far beyond of the confines of Chicago’s inner city. Many of his peers, regardless of zip code, aren’t in the same position.
The pressure resides on Bibby’s shoulders now to ensure every song, every step and every decision after FC2 resembles a step forward. Like the streets, the music industry is a slippery slope because the distance between the two is a sliding glass door. Just as quickly as it is to get out, falling back in is significantly easier.
Second chances. They’re something streets and music industry rarely abide by.
Download — Lil Bibby – Free Crack II Mixtape